Nestled away in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris lies the oldest covered market in Paris, Le Marché des Enfants Rouges. Translating to mean “The Market of the Red Children,” it was opened in 1615 under the reign of Louis XIII and inherited its name from a nearby orphanage that was known for dressing its young boarders in red coats. The market was closed for a brief period in the 1990s until locals rallied together to reinstate it.
Today, Le Marché des Enfants Rouges offers traditional fruit, vegetable and flower stalls, and hungry attendees are presented with the difficulty of choosing from a wide array of food from all over the world, ranging from Mediterranean to North African to East Asian. The space is filled with people from all walks of life: elderly locals, young professionals, and ‘in the know’ tourists who are all here to share the experience of a vibrant, energetic market atmosphere. Happy customers flock to every stall, but here are three unmissable spots you must visit.
For those looking to spice up their mealtime, many look towards Le Traiteur Marocain. Unlike many of the other stalls in the covered market, Le Traiteur Marocain stays open for dinner, making it an affordable and intriguing evening spot. Among the patterned tiles, mosaic tables and tagine pots, the chefs of this Moroccan food stand are busy at work creating delicious meals. With 13 different couscous dishes on the menu, those in line are spoiled for choice when deciding what to eat. The most popular couscous dishes are stuffed aubergine, lamb skewers and lemon chicken, making it hard to choose just one. For those who can’t decide, the Couscous Royal is piled with different meat and vegetables, bringing all of Le Traiteur Marocain’s favorites into one dish. However, without a doubt it is the desserts on offer that make the experience exceptional, delicious baklava filled with honey and nuts topped off with mint tea, an absolute must when visiting Le Traiteur Marocain!
Le Traiteur Marocain, 39 rue de Bretagne, Paris, France, +33 01 42 77 55 05
Opening times: Tues – Thurs 9 am – 2 pm / 4 pm-8 pm | Fri – Sat 9 am – 8 pm | Sun 9 am-2- pm
Recognizable by the constant flow of people flocking to the tables and chairs dotted around the stall, Chez Taeko offers authentic Japanese cuisine in a French market setting. Customers are presented with an extensive traditional menu, including sushi, cod croquettes and grilled sardines. However, it is agreed by all regulars that the biggest hit of Chez Taeko is undoubtedly their famed bento box. Those in line choose between chicken, steak, sardines, tofu or pork to be the principal ingredient of their box, which is accompanied by rice and three other sides. If that doesn’t satisfy, hungry diners can opt to add a serving of miso soup to their box, topping off the entire experience.
Chez Taeko, 39 rue de Bretagne, Paris, France, +33 01 48 04 34 59
Opening times: Tues – Sun 12 pm – 4 pm
In perhaps what is the most accurately named food stall (‘miam miam’ meaning ‘yum yum’ in French) Chez Alain Miam Miam offers an extraordinary and unforgettable dining experience. With no clues to direct you in the right way within the market itself, first timers are told to look for the tell tale long winding queues, mammoth portion sizes and of course the enigma of Alain himself, a larger than life character who keeps his patient onlookers entertained by singing, dancing and charming them all throughout the day. The star of the show is undoubtedly his distinctive take on the sandwich. Piled high with different fresh vegetables and meats, Alain’s sandwiches are perfect for those with big appetites! After heartily topping them with mountains of comté or cantal, Alain goes against the norm here in Paris by opting to grill his sandwiches on a crepe pan. When the cheese is perfectly melted, the sandwich is wrapped up and the taste sensation ensues. This original take on the humble sandwich will leave you wanting more and have you attempting to recreate it for yourself in your own kitchen for months to follow!
Chez Alain Miam Miam, 39 rue de Bretagne, Paris, France, +33 06 89 86 59 63
Opening times: Wed – Fri 9 am–3.30 pm | Sat 9 am–5:30 pm | Sun 9 am–3 pm